Rewarding students for their hard work ⭐️

Do you have a reward system in place for your students? Is it something that works for some students but not others? How do you offer rewards virtually?

Maybe a reward system isn’t the right thing for your students and you have a different way to show recognition of achievement?

I’d love to hear some of your ideas and I’m sure a lot of other tutors will benefit from them and may want to try them out, too!


If it were face-to-face I would use a prize box or stickers (as they are younger) but obviously with everything being online I can’t do this.

Instead we may do a game of their choice if appropriate as a reward or I give glowing feedback to the parents and give them the opportunity to decide the reward due to me not being able to. :woman_shrugging:t3: I do also praise them lots verbally as well.

If anyone has any suggestions for good rewards to offer young children (aged 4-11 years old) where it may encourage them further etc. Please let me know because that is one thing I struggle with!


Hi I teach primary aged children and use a reward system with my pupils. I have small credit card sized cards which I punch with a hole punch; 10 punches equals a prize from my box of “party bag” types items. It works well especially with younger pupils.
It was obviously much easier to do when lessons were face to face however I either discuss the system with the parents and they provide the prize now we have virtual lessons or I post out.


I mostly teach GCSE and A level, so the majority of my students don’t want or need rewards.

Generally speaking, with older students, the feeling they get when they understand something that they’ve been struggling with is all the reward they need. It also often gives them that spur to work on other topics they’ve found hard.


I’m a big fan of reward systems, and pre-pandemic I used to use them with my younger students. Sometimes if a child is struggling, I’ll devise a reward system with their parents. I am a big fan of praise and I’m constantly telling my students how proud I am of them. Obviously, they have to earn their praises but regular praise helps motivate them and gives them confidence to believe in themselves. I gave one student a standing ovation because her work was outstanding and she was amazed by the praise, but I want my students to feel their hard work isn’t for nothing.

I’m also a fan of rewards/praise for tutors, but that’s a bit more controversial. You don’t need a reward for doing your job, but I think people always go above and beyond when they feel they are getting some praise. The staff have made me feel quite appreciative on a number of occasions on here, so that’s always wonderful to hear!


Personally I don’t really use reward systems, as I prefer to teach older students. I just try to keep my students positive and encourage them to try to reason to their own answers when faced with mathematics questions. It’s so easy to become discouraged when you get stuck in this kind of questions.

Although, I started taking an online language class, and the tutor in there would send me stickers into the message if I’d done particularly well in a lesson. So something like, “You did well on spelling today”, with a little cat animation. It’s quite fun and casual and keeps me motivated as a student too :slight_smile:


I find a simple ‘good job’ or even a gold star makes all the difference :slight_smile:


I have a star system I agree with parents. Each lesson students get awarded stars. The number of stars gets emailed to parents with any homework and feedback at the end of the lesson as well as me telling the students how many stars they have earned.
The reward for 10 stars is agreed with parents before we start. Its often not anything bought. A favourite is doing something with their parents like baking or movie nights.
It works because it’s easily attainable indiviualised and I can reward anything positive not just work. This is a life saver for some of my students who struggle to just sit in front of a screen.


I have 13 and 14 year old students who are mortified if they don’t get their stars . :laughing:


It depends of the student age. Apart from praising them verbally I give them the choice to select the topic they enjoy the most to speak or learn more vocabulary. I’m keen to learn more about rewards online ideas. its good to see here different methods that I can also include in my classes. Thank you!


I don’t tend to use reward systems for secondary students but I do draw stars on the board for younger (and to tie in with another discussion on here) they can also lose them for unauthorised tampering of the said whiteboard :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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